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Austin Animal Center closing amid COVID-19, asking for foster volunteers

AAC will not be taking in pets and is urging the public to foster and reunite lost animals with their families.

AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: The related video was published regarding what another Austin shelter, Austin Pets Alive!, is doing amid coronavirus closures.

The Austin Animal Center (AAC) is closing temporarily due to the coronavirus. In an effort to prevent the spread of the illness, the shelter will be closed to the public until March 30.

The AAC will not be taking in pets during this time and is urging the public to foster and reunite lost animals with their families

Joined by other workplaces in the U.S., the center will be closing down temporarily and is implementing new rules to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

RELATED: Austin Pets Alive! in desperate need of fosters and adoptions amid coronavirus concerns

AAC announced in a Facebook post that it will no longer be taking in any pets brought to the facility, and the community should facilitate bringing lost animals back to their owners.

The center provided steps to take to reunite lost animals with their family:

  • Submit a Found Animal Report by calling 311 or using the Austin 311 app.
  • Take the animal to any Austin fire station or recreation center, a veterinarian, emergency animal hospital or pet store to have the pet scanned for a microchip.
  • Post the pet as found on sites like Nextdoor, Craigslist and Austin Lost and Found Pets.
  • Hang flyers where the pet was found, as most pets are found less than 1,000 feet from their home.

Animal Protection Officers (APO) will still be responding to calls of service in the community based on priority level response, which consist of rabies quarantine/bite investigation calls, and aggressive and/or injured animal calls.

AAC said, “If a resident has lost their pet and believes the animal is at AAC, they may call 512-978-0556 to begin the process of reclaiming their pet.”

During this closure, AAC will not be facilitating adoptions, but the center will continue to approve foster applications and transfers of animals to rescue.

According to the post, residents can help shelter animals by signing up as emergency fosters to provide animals relief from the shelter environment. The goal is to get at least 50% of the current animal inventory at AAC into foster homes during this closure.

The AAC currently has 466 animals onsite. Individuals interested in fostering can do the following:

  • Sign up to be an emergency on-call foster by emailing animal.foster@austintexas.gov or visiting austinanimalcenter.org.
  • AAC may be able to provide some supplies but encourage fosters to start planning ahead and gathering resources in anticipation of fostering a pet.
  • Rescue organizations should contact animal.rescue@austintexas.gov to tag and arrange the pulling of AAC animals.

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